In furtherance of its mandate and assignment, the Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission (BSOEC) would commence another round of public engagements from Tuesday, May 21 with a meeting with civil society organisations (CSOs) in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The CSO Roundtable is an interface meant to deepen the work of the commission led by the Archbishop of York, Most Reverend John Sentamu.
Dr. Sentamu and other members of the commission are in the country in continuation of the assignment to investigate the environmental and human damage caused by the operations of oil companies in the state.
The members will undertake on-site visits to some communities in Southern Ijaw and Brass local government areas as well as hold sessions with legal and health experts and groups before having another public evidence session with impacted communities and individuals on Friday, May 24.
Communities and individuals negatively affected by oil spills are expected to present evidence to the commission on how they have been impacted.
Those who wish to attend or present evidence during the evidence session are requested to pre-register at the Ministry of Environment at the state secretariat complex on or before May 22.
The evidence session will hold at the Dr. Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Yenagoa.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, inaugurated the commission in March this year with a nine-month timeline to among others develop a set of informed recommendations that will lead to the development of a new legal framework that ensures accountability.
It also has the mandate to develop an action plan for implementation to ensure a healthy environment by ensuring appropriate clean-up and remediation of impacted sites and that host communities receive sufficient compensation for the impacts of environmental pollution and degradation while reaping the benefits of oil within their communities.